Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP Should Quit Or Be Sacked, Says Labour


Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP has been facing heavy criticism since last year when it was uncovered that he had awarded a £14m contract to a company called Seaborne Freight. This contract had been awarded in case of a no deal. Seaborne Freight planned to run ferries between the Port of Ramsgate in Kent, UK and Ostend in Belgium. This company did not seem reliable as it was revealed that not only did they not have any ships but there was also no record of hiring them. The Department for Transport (DfT) has now confirmed that the contract has been cancelled.

A DfT spokeswoman said: “Following the decision of Seaborne Freight’s backer, Arklow Shipping, to step back from the deal, it became clear Seaborne would not reach its contractual requirements with the Government. We have therefore decided to terminate our agreement.”

Labour is now calling for Chris Grayling to be sacked.

Final Comment From Editor- Heidi Boahen

This is hugely humiliating for the Department for Transport and also our country. Chris Grayling MP has previously defended his decision despite the criticism received last year. He insisted that the right decision has been made. However, it has now backfired and the contract has been scrapped. Chris Grayling decision to award the contract was never going to work. This, however, has allowed discussions to be had both online and in the media to how this arrangement was made in the first place. It was also revealed in early January that Seaborne Freight has copied the terms and conditions from a food company.  

Does this further indicate that our current Ministers are incompetent in doing their job? Irrational decisions have been made in the past however, this seems to be the most embarrassing one at the moment. Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald MP has also responded to the news that the Seaborne Freight contract has been cancelled:

As we predicted, the Seaborne Freight contract has been cancelled. This cannot go without consequence. The Chris Grayling catalogue of calamities grows bigger by the day. This contract was never going to work but this Secretary of State, true to form, blunders from one disaster to another.Whilst Theresa May needs the few friends she has right now, we cannot have this incompetent Transport Secretary carry on heaping humiliation after humiliation on our country. He has to go.

Rail Chaos Continuous: Chris Grayling’s Failure To Deliver An Efficient Rail Service

The UK has experienced a significant increase in fare prices which many argue is not justifiable. Campaign for Better Transport has called for a fares freeze in January and wrote to Theresa May in June outlining passengers day-to-day train journey experiences. However, this seems to not have had much of an impact as another fare increase has been introduced for the near year. It was therefore not surprising when there was a public uproar over the 3.1 % increase in rail fares which will add hundreds of pounds to commuters’ travel in 2019.

To add to commuters’ concern, the introduction of this years’ new train times in May has not been a success with many passengers still complaining about the lack of punctuality. It has been announced that hundreds of new train services are to be introduced across the UK from Sunday, following the lack of cohesiveness with the latest introduced train times. However, some changes to train networks such as Northern, Great Western and South Western networks have been delayed until next year May.

Editor’s final comment- Heidi Boahen

Passengers pour over £10 billion a year into the rail industry alongside significant government investment, yet they are not receiving a service that is their money’s worth. It is fair to state, the Department for Transport is in need of a new Secretary. One who will take control and one who puts the passengers’ needs and concerns at the centre of all decisions.

I, therefore, agree with Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonald when he said there is a lack of concern for the interests of passengers and that the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has failed at his job to provide a decent and reliable train service. Many will be affected by the inconsistency of the train times, the lack of consideration for train networks in North of England and the consistent increase of rail fares which the average person living in the UK will struggle to afford. Trains should be run as a public service and not run for profit. As Andy McDonald MP said, “To deliver reliable services, we need an integrated network that acts in the interest of passengers, which requires the operation of trains to be brought under public ownership”.